In Paris it was dubbbed the "Sweet Dress" becausesesee of its Victorian details - high, ruffled neckline, flounced hem, shirred yoke, floral prints, soft fabric and chemise shape. And before anyone could say Yves Saint Laurent, whose idea it was in the first place, it was already on the drawing boards of several American manufacturers.
The price of the Paris version, with its Abraham-wool challis, workmanship and details, is $595. The American instant translations start at about $40, will include versions for little girls and teens, and bathrobes and nightgowns as well.
Which is the greater genius - thinking up the idea in the first place and making it so timely and attractive that everyone wants to own it, or scaling down a single dress style to suit thousands of women? Each is a special talent.
Black rayon-challis dress with heart print and smocking at collars and cuffs by Hearsay, from Hecht's ($56); black velvet hairbows by Riviera, also Hecht's ($4); Jean Rimbaud patent pump with laquered heel at Hess ($380).
Lilac and pink flower-printed chemise by Belle France with pink velvet ribbon trim at Bloomingdale's ($130); black velvet and lace choker from Saks Fifth Avenue ($7): black patent baby-doll pump with wedge by Jean Rimbaud at Hess ($40).
Little girl's version of the "Sweet Dress" by Dorissa in ivory and burgundy challis, available in October at Woodward Lothrop and The Esther Shop ($37): Stride Rite mary Jane pumps from Rich's ($17).
Ragtime's layered challis dress with contrasting print vest from Casual Corner ($43); pump flats by Pappagallo ($35); black langora beret from J.C. Penney ($7).
Jessica McClintock of Gunne Sax uses ribbons and lace to detail floral printed cotton challis dress from Saks Fifth Avenue ($50); black velvet bows on comb ($7) and black patent flats with grosgrain bows ($34), also from Saks.